Published: 03 December 2020 by Suraj Desor
Birmingham City Council have made the decision to remove the existing cumulative impact special policy in force in areas of Birmingham as part of their recent licensing policy consultation.
The full review, including Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) was due to be commenced in the spring of 2020 as part of the statutory requirement to review licensing policies at least every five years. However, due to “urgent operational matters resulting from the Coronavirus Pandemic” the Council has been unable to progress a full consultation.
Therefore an interim licensing policy 2020 has been issued, following a short consultation, and we understand this was due to take effect from today following Full Council approval.
A key change is that the existing cumulative impact special policy and designated areas have been removed. The cumulative impact policy covered special policy areas for Broad Street, Hurst Street/Arcadian, Central Moseley, Erdington and Digbeth.
The Policing and Crime Act 2017 put cumulative impact policies on a statutory footing and brought in evidential requirements which must be proven before such a policy can be adopted, Cumulative Impact Policies (CIP) can only be referred to in the new licensing policy (or in this case an interim policy) if a CIA has been carried out and this indicates the need for a CIP. The Council stated in its interim licensing policy report that they have been unable to carry out CIAs due to the Coronavirus pandemic as extensive timely data is required to establish the required evidence for the introduction or maintenance of a CIP, and much of that evidence is not available (as many licensed premises have not been operating or operating on restricted hours). Given this, they have therefore removed the existing cumulative impact special policy and designated areas from the interim licensing policy until a full CIA takes place.
The Council has indicated a comprehensive licensing policy review, including assessment of potential cumulative impact policy areas to adopted, is proposed to take place next year. However, in the meantime this means there will be a period from now until the conclusion of the full review where no special policy will be in force.
For further information on this legal news or any other alcohol licensing issue, contact solicitor Suraj Desor on 0115 953 8500 or 07880 382 193.
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